Soomro
Regions with significant populations
Pakistan, India
Languages
Sindhi, Saraiki, Punjabi
Related ethnic groups
Sindhis

Soomro (Sindhi: سومرو, सूमरो) or Soomra or Sumrah is a tribe having a local origin in Sindh who had later claimed to being either Rajputs or Arabs.[1] They are found in Sindh, parts of Punjab especially bordering Sindh, Balochistan province, and the Kutch district of the Indian state of Gujarat and also Rajasthan.[2][3][4][5][6] The Soomro tribe established the Soomra dynasty in 1025 CE, which re-established native Sindhi rule over Sindh since the Arab conquests.[2]

Many members of the Soomro caste were one of the first in Sindh to convert to Islam from Hinduism but initially continued to maintain several Hindu customs and traditions.[3][2]

Some say their origins to be of Rajputs who migrated to Sindh from Rajasthan[3] by linking them to the Parmar clan of Rajputs.[2][3] Others like Ahmad Hasan Dani claims that "of this there is no definite proof" though he too affirms that they originate in the Indian subcontinent.[7] M. H. Panhwar, a Sindhologist, also rejects a Rajput origin and attributes its to James Todd but still accepts native origin.[8] Some writers have detailed about a subdivision in Jats with the name "Sumra".[9][10] But Historian André Wink has mentioned that the Soomras were not Jats.[11] He has also explained that Soomras who were of local Sindhi origin and had been semi-independent rulers after the death of Mahmud Ghazni were different to pastoral-nomadic Jats or Mids. As per him, rise of Soomras was one of the factor in movement of the Jats of lower Sindh towards north.[12] Ghulam Hussain and others argue that the Soomros and other native tribes indigenous to Sindh slowly began to 'Ashrafize' themselves by remaking their genealogies to further associate themselves with Syeds whom they possibly intermarried and acquired power through.[13][3]

References

  1. ^ Wink, André (2002). Al-Hind, the Making of the Indo-Islamic World: Early Medieval India and the Expansion of Islam 7Th-11th Centuries. BRILL. p. 166. ISBN 978-0-391-04173-8. In Lower Sind however we become dimly aware of the existence in the eighth and ninth centuries of a tribal people, the Sumras, who shortly after the death of Mahmud of Ghazna became quasi-independent rulers throughout the Multan region, even when it remained nominally incorporated in the Ghaznavid and Ghurid dominion and subsequently in the Delhi Sultanate. The Sumras were a dynasty of local origin, later claiming to be Rajputs as well as Arabs, and are clearly distinguishable from the pastoral-nomadic Jats or Mids. In fact, it could very well be that next to the Baluchi immigration from the west, the rise of the Sumras was a factor in pushing the Jats of Lower Sind northward.
  2. ^ a b c d "The Arab Conquest". International Journal of Dravidian Linguistics. 36 (1): 91. 2007. The Soomras are believed to be Parmar Rajputs found even today in Rajasthan, Saurashtra, Kutch and Sindh. The Cambridge History of India refers to the Soomras as "a Rajput dynasty the later members of which accepted Islam" (p. 54 ).
  3. ^ a b c d e Siddiqui, Habibullah. "The Soomras of Sindh: their origin, main characteristics and rule – an overview (general survey) (1025 – 1351 AD)" (PDF). Literary Conference on Soomra Period in Sindh. Historians draw conclusion from socio-cultural as well as the historical and archaeological evidence. The way in which the history of Sindh has been recorded in the past, does not admit of the historical method. However, according to the available printed material, Mir Tahir Muhammad Nisyani, in his Tarikh Tahiri (1621 AD) asserts that Soomras were originally Hindus. They converted to Islam but remained Hindu in their customs, dress and even in their names. Tarikh Waqa`i Rajisthan corroborates this viewpoint and confirms that Soomras were originally “Parmar Rajputs”... " Again, however, from Bashari Maqdisi, Al Beruni, and the Cambridge History of India (Vol. II), we note that it was during the Soomra rule (1025 – 1351 AD) that the “Rajput” migrated from India to Sindh.2 Dr. N. A. Baloch, the eminent modern scholar of Sindh has written as exhaustive book on the Soomra Period, in which the conflicting versions about the origin of the Soomra race are reconciled: a hybrid race of Sindhi-Arab blood, that emerged after the Umayyad caliph Sulaiman bin Abdul Malik (715-17 AD)’s decree asking Arab officers posted in Sindh to settle in the land permanently. Consequently they took Sindhi wives and subsequently married their daughters in Sindhi families. Hence, Dr. Baloch writes that “Soomras were descendents of these hybrid princes, whose ancestors, according to common legend, were either Arabs or their grand-sons on the mothers’ side”
  4. ^ Sen, Sailendra (2013). A Textbook of Medieval Indian History. Primus Books. p. 114. ISBN 978-9-38060-734-4.
  5. ^ "The Soomras of Sindh: their origin, main characteristics and rule" (PDF). www.uok.edu.pk. University of Karachi , Sindhi department. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  6. ^ (PDF) https://uok.edu.pk/faculties/sindhi/docs/soomroEng.pdf. ((cite journal)): Cite journal requires |journal= (help); Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ Dani, Ahmad Hasan (2007). History of Pakistan: Pakistan through ages. Sang-e Meel Publications. ISBN 978-969-35-2020-0. But as many kings of the dynasty bore Hindu names, it is almost certain that the Soomras were of local origin. Sometimes they are connected with Paramara Rajputs, but of this there is no definite proof.
  8. ^ Panhwar, M.H.; Soomra National Council (Pakistan) (2003). An Illustrated Historical Atlas of Soomra Kingdom of Sindh: 1011-1351 AD. Soomra National Council, Pakistan. p. 26 (on pdf). Retrieved 2022-07-27. “Presence of Soomras in Kutch, Gujarat and Rajasthan in small numbers does not make them Rajputs either… All British period historians given in the table at end of this chapter have called Soomras as Rajputs under influence of Todd's writings. Actually they were local converted to Ismailism.”
  9. ^ Khan, H.A.; Choonara, S. (2004). Re-Thinking Punjab: The Construction of Siraiki Identity. Research and Publication Centre (RPC), National College of Arts. p. 130. ISBN 978-969-8623-09-8. Retrieved 2022-07-27. Other important braches and sub-divisions of the Jat in the Siraiki area include Panhwar, Parihar, Chajra, Daha, Jhakkar, Joiya, Guraha, Bhatti, Massan, Bhutta, Sahu, Sial, Jangla, Thind, Samtia, Sehar, Sumra…
  10. ^ Bhatia, S. (1987). Social Change and Politics in Punjab, 1898-1910. Enkay Publishers. p. 24. ISBN 978-81-85148-13-7. Retrieved 2022-07-29. The Jats were divided into several tribes . In the Western plain ( i.e. , West of Lahore ) excluding the salt range , and sub - montane tracts were to be found the Tahim , Butta , Langah , Sumra , Sipra and Hans
  11. ^ Wink, André (1991). Al-hind: The Making of the Indo-islamic World. BRILL. p. 159. ISBN 978-90-04-09249-5. The Sammas rose to great power in Sind at about 1351 A.D., displacing the Sumras, who were not Jats and had achieved control of Lower Sind shortly after the death of Mahmud of Ghazna.
  12. ^ Wink, André (2002). Al-Hind, the Making of the Indo-Islamic World: Early Medieval India and the Expansion of Islam 7Th-11th Centuries. BRILL. p. 166. ISBN 978-0-391-04173-8. In Lower Sind however we become dimly aware of the existence in the eighth and ninth centuries of a tribal people, the Sumras, who shortly after the death of Mahmud of Ghazna became quasi-independent rulers throughout the Multan region, even when it remained nominally incorporated in the Ghaznavid and Ghurid dominion and subsequently in the Delhi Sultanate. The Sumras were a dynasty of local origin, later claiming to be Rajputs as well as Arabs, and are clearly distinguishable from the pastoral-nomadic Jats or Mids. In fact, it could very well be that next to the Baluchi immigration from the west, the rise of the Sumras was a factor in pushing the Jats of Lower Sind northward.
  13. ^ Hussain, Ghulam (2019-08-02). "Dalits are in India, not in Pakistan: Exploring the Discursive Bases of the Denial of Dalitness under the Ashrafia Hegemony". Journal of Asian and African Studies. SAGE Publications. 55 (1): 24. doi:10.1177/0021909619863455. ISSN 0021-9096. S2CID 201404746. Soomra, Samma and Kalhora indigenous castes (locally known as Sammat) were further ashrafized. After conversion to Islam they intermarried with local Arab landowners and thus had acquired great influence and power. By furnishing Tuhfa-tul-Kiram and Beglar Namah, the two books on the history, as the reference, they reconstructed their genealogies to have roots in Arabs and in association with the Sayeds. Hence, the Soomras claimed to be Sumerian Arabs; Sammas, the descendants of Jamshed Abbasi of Persia, and Kalhoras traced their descent to Abbasid Khalifas